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tv   2020  ABC  October 31, 2014 10:01pm-11:01pm PDT

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tonight on an all-new "20/20." do your [ bleep ] job. asleep on the job. a toll collector, a radio operator. you snooze, you lose. then, an ambulance driver dancing at the wheel? not so funny when the 911 operator hangs up on you. then, a movie director determined to get a shot on a train trestle. a young assistant trying to do
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her job. and the accident that ended her life. >> we had to run for our lives. >> she was doing her job. what about him? >> for them to overlook something is absolutely, positively unacceptable. >> a story that will put hollywood on trial. here now, david muir and elizabeth vargas. >> good evening, great to have you back. >> great to be back. tonight, "20/20" on the case. the outrage on people being lazy, slacking off. not doing their jobs. and the video of the ups man kicking the expensive package. >> tonight, what if not doing your job cost someone their life? chris connelly with the story asking, whose job was that? >> reporter: follow the muddy
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waters of the altamaha river westward, past the spanish moss and the cypress trees in backcountry georgia, and the river brings you to a century-old train trestle. here, this february, a film crew would gather to shoot a movie's first scene. but the set would quickly turn into a place of real-life horror. >> i kept saying over and over "lord help us, god help us, lord help us." >> reporter: on the film crew, put in harm's way. this young woman would suffer an all-but-unimaginable fate just for doing her job. >> she fell in love with the camera. >> reporter: she was sarah jones. raised in south carolina without showbiz connections, she earned her film crew stripes during an
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internship in charleston on "army wives." as her parents richard and elizabeth remember. why do you think she was drawn to the camera department? >> it's the challenge of it. for the most part, it's a man's world. and i think that was a little bit of a challenge to her. >> reporter: sarah jones would become a camera assistant. the last sight the camera would see before a scene began, for multiple seasons on "the vampire diaries." such stars as nina dobrev and ian somerhalter knew sarah well. >> sarah, first time i saw her she was literally right in front of my face. she was doing the slate. you couldn't help but notice sarah jones. you just always wanted to be around her. >> she always had a smile on her face. and was just the uber professional. she was my sister, you know, she was my cosmic sister. >> reporter: even on the vacations she loved, sarah jones liked setting up her shots just so.
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>> she was always up for anything. she wanted to, you know, work on features and get her name out there. >> reporter: in search of those opportunities, she'd leave "vampire diaries" in may of 2013. soon, a huge break, getting hired on "the fast and the furious 7." as her parents recall. >> she was in the position she was striving so hard to be in. to get her foot in the door on a feature film. >> reporter: but then -- a tragedy with a star. >> paul walker, one of the stars of "the fast and the furious," dead in a car crash. >> reporter: production would be postponed for months. so sarah took her own fateful path -- taking a camera assistant gig based out of savannah on the movie "midnight rider." ♪ >> reporter: based on the memoir by gregg allman of the allman brothers, starring oscar winner
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william hurt, "midnight rider" would be an independent film. written, produced and directed by this man, randall miller. >> sarah had mentioned to me that it is a low budget film and she was a little bit surprised that some of the people did not have the level of expertise that she expected. >> reporter: shooting had yet to begin on the film when, on thursday, february 20th, cast and crew drove two hours to this location in doctortown, georgia. among those arriving were sarah and hairstylist joyce gilliard. >> i was told that it wasn't actual principal photography. the actual day we were supposed to start shooting was gonna be that monday. >> reporter: a pre-shoot, that's what it said on the schedule. but once they got there, the crew realized randall miller wanted to shoot a full scene.
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a dream sequence in which gregg allman, from his hospital bed, imagines his late brother, guitarist duane allman, across the bridge. two trains passed by, one at 3:45 in the afternoon. it came time to set up for the day's money shot 30 feet above the water. >> the plan for the scene was to set up a hospital bed on train tracks. you've got a hospital bed, you've got heavy camera equipment and an entire crew loaded onto this train trestle. >> reporter: joyce gilliard says she heard someone telling those assembled what to do if a train was spotted. >> you have 60 seconds to get off the track. i was more or less, "60 seconds to get off the track?" and i started praying. i'm mad at myself because i didn't say something. >> reporter: there was no on-set
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medic. there were no railroad officials present. location manager charley baxter was not there. moments after filming began just before 4:30 p.m., this dream sequence turned into a nightmare. >> i don't know who yelled anything, all i know, i heard and i saw the train. and you just immediately started running. >> reporter: the train, with two locomotives and 37 freight cars, barreling down the track at an estimated 57 miles per hour. >> i saw the light of that train. it was like the train was right there. so you had seconds to figure out what you were going to do. >> sarah was trying to get the equipment off the track as a good camera person would because it's expensive, camera equipment. >> reporter: cast and crew had to run toward the oncoming train along this narrow pathway to save their lives.
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joyce saw randall miller and another crew member trying to yank the hospital bed off the tracks. >> when i realized that i couldn't get to land, that's when i ran to the side, and held onto the iron girder. and i prayed that i didn't get hit by the train. the pressure from the wind from the train was so strong, that holding onto the girder, i wasn't able to, it pulled me off. >> reporter: the train struck joyce gilliard's left arm after smashing into the hospital bed. iron shrapnel flying everywhere. joyce closed her eyes. >> i couldn't believe what was happening. i thought about dying. and my family getting that call. >> reporter: the train's impact had snapped a bone in joyce's
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left arm. blood poured from the wound. joyce opened her eyes once more. >> sarah was the first person that i saw. she was lying on the side of the tracks dead. you didn't know it was her. you didn't know it was her. >> i received a phone call from one of the -- her friends. she said, sarah's no longer here. i said, you mean as in dead? she said, yes, ma'am. >> it was rough, i mean -- it took the wind out of me. very, very hard. >> reporter: sarah jones was 27 years old. hours later, the phone rang again. it was the director of "midnight rider."
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>> randall miller called us that day. he was very upset. >> he was crying. >> he was nearly hysterical, and he was, he was saying i'm so, so sorry. he couldn't say much more than that. >> reporter: but why had randall miller allowed his crew to shoot on live tracks? sarah jones' parents, and police, demand answers. as allegations emerge of randall miller's reported recklessness on another film. >> he would say, but we're trying to make a movie here. as if that outweighed the safety and needs and welfare of other people. it was like that, some kind of magic card. >> reporter: and footage, released today, from a camera mounted on the locomotive shows those last horrifying moments as the crew members of "midnight rider" scramble for their lives. the crew members of "midnight rider" scramble for their lives. stay with us. free? items for free! who knew, right? wow!
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do your [ bleep ] job continues. once again, chris connelly. >> reporter: after the hideous accident on the trestle bridge above the altamaha river in rural georgia, there was a silence as scary as what had come before. >> at first it was like a quiet, like people were in shock at what happened. i remember hearing somebody say "oh my gosh, she's dead." >> reporter: the horrifying news that 27-year-old camera assistant sarah jones had been killed by a train on the set of the film "midnight rider" reached her good friends on "the vampire diaries" just a few hours after it happened. >> i got the call. and we sat in the car, going to
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set and it was just pure shock. >> she just left too soon, she, she -- she would have been -- yeah, it was too soon. >> i've been working as an actor pretty much for 15 years, and never experienced anything like it. i wanted to know, how? >> i was angry. really angry. and for them to overlook something that jeopardizes the safety of the people that are working with them, is absolutely, positively, it's unacceptable. >> reporter: ever since the accident on february 20th, investigators have been trying to figure out who wasn't doing their job to keep this crew safe. >> the people who made poor choices that day need to be held
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fully accountable. >> reporter: investigators would uncover this e-mail, sent to location manager charley baxter on the morning of the shoot in which the railroad refuses to grant the film permission to shoot on its tracks. producer/director randall miller and the rest of the "midnight rider" crew had no way of knowing when a train might be coming, as railroad safety expert and film consultant art miller notes. >> there is no freight train schedule i can rely on to make sure there will be no train on my track. >> it's a day to day thing. there's not such a thing as a freight train schedule like what a major airline might publish. >> someone at the scene apparently said, only two trains go by, we're good to go. well, that's not true. >> reporter: attorney jeff harris has filed a lawsuit on behalf of sarah jones' parents. >> you don't shoot on a railroad track unless you absolutely are positive that you have permission to be there. i think they said, well, we don't have actual permission but ultimately we're just gonna try to steal this shot.
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>> reporter: if so, it would apparently not be the first time randall miller had stolen a shot. take this subway scene from his 2013 movie "cbgb." a scene he brought up in this panel discussion. >> you are not allowed to shoot in new york subways. you know that. >> reporter: and on the dvd extras, shot mostly in savannah, randall miller jokes about pulling off scenes like this one. >> so this is a real house and i don't think they fully knew that we were going to drop a piano down their staircase. >> reporter: all in good fun? well, how about a child turned loose in a pasture? >> i don't think it's dangerous at all to have a little kid run through cows, do you think? no, no. >> reporter: one man wasn't laughing. jay self, then the head of the savannah film commission. >> we had more complaints about the activities of this film than we did the entire year. >> reporter: in town, a stop
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sign was removed, another painted over. cars were parked in handicapped spots or in front of fire hydrants. minor issues, perhaps, but often accompanied, self says, by sheer arrogance. >> he would say, we're trying to make a movie here. as if that somehow outweighed the safety of other people. it was like that, some kind of magic card. when "cbgb" was over, we were like, i can't believe nobody got hurt. >> reporter: tragically, that was not the case on "midnight rider." >> they thought they could make up their own rules. they pushed it too far. >> the audacity to put someone else's life in, in such danger. >> they wanted to get the shot so, whatever it took to get the shot is what they did. the entire crew was put in a situation where we all had to basically run for our lives.
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>> reporter: it's true, as shown by this startling new evidence, just released today. taken by a camera mounted inside csx q12519. it shows the "midnight rider" crew racing off the bridge as the train that would need a mile of track to stop rapidly approaches the bed that's been left behind on one of the rails. look again. and listen as the dramatic scene unfolds. 26 seconds before impact, the engineer starts to blare the horn continuously. three seconds before impact. it's too late to get the bed off the tracks. it sits there, while to the side actors william hurt and wyatt russell, along with two crew members, make it off the trestle. one second before impact. people cover their ears. clinging to the bridge for their lives. on impact the bed becomes a deadly weapon. >> the train hits the bed, and the bed flies up, and apparently a portion of the hospital bed
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strikes sarah and pushes her into the train. >> reporter: hairstylist joyce gilliard suffered a compound fracture of her left arm. she's had to have a plate put in and is also suing the producers, the railroad company and nearby land owners. >> it's not just my arm that was hurt. i suffered such a traumatic experience seeing my co-worker, friend, lose her life because of someone else's negligence. >> reporter: up next, in the hot seat. in court and on video. the man at the center of the sarah jones tragedy. director randall miller confronted with questions about just what happened that day. and giving the same answer three times. >> do you know where anybody was down that track before the >> do you know where anybody was down that track before the acci
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that's merrill edge and bank of america. "20/20" continues. here again, chris connelly. >> reporter: 27-year-old sarah jones was doing her job. part of the "midnight rider" crew instructed to place their equipment and a metal bed on these railroad tracks, only to see a train coming towards them at 57 miles per hour and
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smashing into the bed. >> the train hit the bed. it sent shrapnel flying everywhere and she was hit. >> the shrapnel hit her and caused her to knock -- knock her into the train. >> wayne county 911. >> can you get my location where i am? we need an ambulance. someone got hit by a train. >> reporter: seven crew members suffered injuries in the accident. sarah jones lost her life. >> it's clear that certainly the producers and director messed up real bad. >> it was a live track. there were tracks elsewhere in the vicinity that were not live tracks that could have been used. >> reporter: "20/20" found a train trestle just a few hours away where an onsite railroad official was able to shut down train traffic so we could film safely. >> you go on a railroad track
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without permission, there's a lot, a big spectrum of what could happen. if the spectrum goes all the way to somebody dies, you just don't do it. >> reporter: joyce gilliard was recuperating when producer/director randall miller paid her a visit. >> he came to my hospital room a couple days after the tragedy happened. he didn't say anything, he just cried. he just cried. >> reporter: the wayne county d.a. has charged randall miller and three other members of the "midnight rider" team with involuntary manslaughter. >> involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum of ten years. >> reporter: they've each pleaded not guilty and have >> everybody is trying to distance themselves from responsibility, saying it was not their fault. >> reporter: finally, there are words from the man at the center of the tragedy, randall miller. testifying in a civil suit filed against him by gregg allman, the subject of "midnight rider" and saying one phrase three times.
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>> did you even employ anyone to go down the railroad track maybe three or four miles down to warn people when the train was coming? >> unfortunately that's not my job. >> do you know where anybody was down that track before the accident occurred? >> again, that's not my job. >> you didn't ask csx how many trains were coming down that trestle, did you? >> again, that's not my job. >> reporter: recalling the final warning that was given to his crew -- >> i heard that if the train were to come that we would have at least 60 seconds. >> and you actually believed that you could get a metal bed off the track, and the people off the track in 60 seconds? >> well i didn't. yes. >> reporter: claiming he'd gotten the okay for his shoot from a company that owns land next to the tracks. >> did you have a written permission, sir, to be on the train track? >> we had permission from rayonier to be there. >> reporter: the company owned
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the land next to the tracks but not the tracks themselves. >> did you see a written permission from csx to put those people on that track? >> i did not do the permits. i was in the middle of the track and i almost died. >> reporter: sarah jones did die on those tracks. a statement roadway dpsh -- released tonight says that they believe they had permission to be on the tracks. they had no reason to believe that anyone would be placed in danger and will live with the sorrow of sarah's death for the rest of their lives. her death sent shock waves through the filming community. as nothing else had since a
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helicopter killed three actors, two of them young children, during the 1982 filming of "the twilight zone: the movie." >> the one thing that the twilight zone incident did do is it helped safety issues for children, and for child labor laws. i think we're seeing the same thing for safety on the set for "midnight rider" and sarah jones. people will not forget sarah jones. >> reporter: days afterwards, hundreds of film and tv productions across the nation began to put sarah jones' name on their slates, from "scandal" and "the big bang theory" to "downton abbey" and "mad men," all to reinforce the importance of on-the-set safety and to honor her memory. >> this was, given to us personally by nina dobrev of "vampire diaries." >> i think the latest count was 2,000 slates. >> reporter: the "slates for sarah" have a special place in the home of sarah's parents, who were watching as the oscars paid tribute. >> when you saw her name up on the screen at the academy awards, what were your feelings? >> overwhelming. >> she made it to the academy. she made it.
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>> yeah. >> reporter: earlier this month, heartened by news that there's now a smartphone app for crew members to get backup on safety issues, hundreds took part in a safety walkathon in atlanta. >> never again let someone's daughter die. >> reporter: those in attendance included "the vampire diaries" cast and crew. and her paints -- parents. >> in my head, she is always walking by me with this smile. and i am in a bad mood, and all of a sudden, i am instantly in a good mood. >> reporter: nowhere is her memory more cherished than on "the vampire diaries" set, where the first shot of the day is called "the jonesy" as a safety reminder. >> here we go. >> the last day i ever saw sarah we were, we'd rented some bikes and were just bombing around, uh, amsterdam, and had just the best time together. i feel as blessed as i do that my memories of her are, are so
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positive and so wonderful and >> we feel so blessed to have had a daughter, to have had her for 27 years was wonderful. >> that trial is set for next year. we want to know, have you ever been put in danger by your boss? >> what happens when you call 911 and they hang up on you? you have to see this. >> it's the most stressful job on the planet, but there's no excuse for this. >> [ bleep ]. >> when 991 hang us up on you. we'll be right back.
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our lives are in their hands when we need help.
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and most of the time, they do their utmost to help. but what happens when they don't respond? jim avila has the story. >> reporter: they are supposed to be and most of the time are our lifelines. the people who when we are in danger, literally, answer the call. just like halle berry in the hollywood movie "the call." >> 911. where's your emergency? >> a man is trying to break into my house, i'm all alone? >> reporter: but what if we are in trouble and they are sleeping? like the 911 operator in miami florida who was taking a snooze in the dispatch center. and her colleagues? also fast asleep. the police department says they were officially on break. but what about this dispatcher in rockville, maryland? so tired he is actually caught on tape snoring. >> can you send an ambulance or anything right now? >> reporter: sleeping. clearly not okay. what about dancing? like this emt, who was driving his ambulance home at the time, reprimanded for his hands-off-the-wheel seat dance
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to rihana's "pour it up." the singer tweeted, "the paramedic guy just reminded me why god sent me here!" that sent the video into the twitterverse stratosphere. all kind of funny. true. but unfortunately sometimes when first responders are instead worst responders, there can be tragic, not funny at all, results. >> d.c. 911. >> he's not breathing! >> stay with me on the line. >> reporter: here is where that call for help came from. 77 year-old medric mills, a washington, d.c., parks employee for nearly five decades, is taking his daughter marie to the computer store to buy a laptop. but this happy sojourn turned into a 911 disaster when medric suffered a heart attack. >> you're walking out of the computer store and -- >> yes. >> he's right around here? >> he's right around here. >> and he kind of falls next to the -- >> falls next to the car, yes. >> reporter: if you are going to suffer a heart attack, it appeared medric mills had picked
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a pretty good spot to do it. first of all his daughter was close by. and then, luck of all luck, right across the street, engine house 26 of the washington, d.c., fire department. but as the seconds ticked by, that firehouse remained strangely quiet. >> the fire department is across the street. >> yeah, i understand that, we got help on the way. okay? >> reporter: what's going on in the firehouse filled with life-saving equipment is hard to fathom, and impossible to explain. because although there are five firefighters inside, none comes across the street to help. in fact, the lieutenant in charge instead of immediately getting out of her bunk, asked for the exact address of where medric was dying, not 100 yards away. another firefighter came outside but did nothing more than gaze at the chaos across the street. so you're actually going like this? >> i'm waving my arms because i know i -- i just know that he's seeing me because he's standing with his arms folded, looking this direction.
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>> reporter: and to her horror, he turned around and went back inside. so how long would it take for emergency personnel to get from here, the firehouse, to there, the parking lot where medric mills was dying of a heart attack? it took me less than 30 seconds to cross that street on foot, but on the day poor medric lay here, a full 11 minutes after the first call, paramedics had still not arrived. but as bad as that was, on this terrible day, there was a second critical error. the ambulance that was dispatched was initially sent to the wrong address. so where were the paramedics? let's take a drive. it turns out they'd been sent to the wrong side of town, two and a half miles away from where medric mills collapsed. a day of botched signals and no-excuse inaction the washington, d.c., fire department won't even try to justify. >> when someone knocks on the door and says there's an incident across the street, they
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should've responded immediately. >> reporter: does it bother you that one of them actually went back to the bunks and was studying? >> yes, that was even more horrendous. >> reporter: the lieutenant who wouldn't initially leave her bunk retired with full pension. the most anyone else got was a 60-hour suspension. that's right, 60 hours. >> you so upset i don't want you to hang up, you stay on with me. >> reporter: there is no doubt first responders have stressful jobs. they get hammered with ridiculous calls. super-sized complaints about the price of a burger. >> okay, what's going on there? >> i was at a mcdonald's. i paid $10 and these guys gave me one burger and a fry. >> okay, this is not a police matter. >> i got robbed for my money! >> reporter: the 911 operator wasn't loving that. >> i'd say the vast majority of them are not technically emergencies. probably 75%. >> reporter: a steady diet of silly calls and other people's genuine trauma forced former 911 operator jeff hewitt to quit
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he says after only 4 1/2 years on the job. still, he says there's no excuse for what happened in nashville, tennessee, during this call for help from a woman being threatened by a knife-wielding boyfriend. >> get the police here now! my life is threatened! please, god! >> reporter: wait for it. >> i really don't give a [ bleep ] what happens to you. >> reporter: 911 operators are trained to be the responsible party during an emergency, but sometimes they're not. so what can you do? in tampa, florida, this mom calls 911 after accidentally locking her toddler in the car during a heat wave. >> hi, my infant son is locked in a car in a parking lot. >> reporter: cops on the way, right? no, the dispatcher somehow needed to hear more distress. >> they won't be able to try to gain access to the car unless the child is in some kind of distress. >> reporter: the toddler, finally rescued by a motorist who took a wrench to the window. the baby's okay, the dispatcher is now in the hot seat.
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>> the dispatcher absolutely made a mistake, this is not the way we do business. >> reporter: in michigan, this 911 operator suspended for two weeks without pay teaches us that no matter how long you have to wait for an ambulance, don't swear, as this desperate daughter did while watching her father's brain seizure. get the beeps ready. >> what the [ bleep ]? >> 911. >> i need an ambulance. [ bleep ]. >> well, okay. first of all, you don't need to swear over 911. >> okay. >> and slow down. >> send me a [ bleep ] ambulance! >> reporter: but the dispatcher had already hung up on her. so she called a second time, and still 911 refused to send help. >> 911. >> are you going to give me an ambulance? >> are you going to swear again, you stupid [ bleep ]? >> are we going to have a [ bleep ] problem? >> no. you're not going to get one. >> the burnout rate for dispatchers is typically three years. most people don't make it beyond that. >> reporter: and finally, this tongue in cheek insight from our insider the next time a 911 call is in order.
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have your emergency monday morning, because by friday, the stress has reached epic proportions for dispatchers. >> it was just almost unbearable stress. what you have to do is kind of compartmentalize your frustration and your anger because nobody calls you on the best day of their life and say, oh, great, thank you. you know, 911. >> reporter: for marie mills, who lost her dad, she has no advice. just a simple request for the first responders who did not live up to their name. >> just do what you were trained to do, what you are supposed to do. just do your job. >> incredible, waving and not getting help. tweet us if this happened to you. up next, if someone just says, i'm just exhausted. >> the sharks from "shark tank"
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have a message for your complaining co-workers. >> is falling asleep on the job the new norm? when do your [ bleep ] job continues. "i'm throwing away money" and "i had no idea." well, walgreens has your back. our expert pharmacists make it easy for you to save on your prescriptions. so you can keep your money where it belongs. swing by walgreens... ...where you could save even more with medicare prescription copays as low as zero dollars. at the corner of happy and healthy. ♪ [driver] started my camry. ♪ picked up someone i hadn't seen in far too long. ♪ went somewhere we'd both never been. ♪ did something we've both never done.
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well, you knew this was coming. co-workers sleeping on the job. what's their excuse? you're about to hear it. and the sharks from "shark tank" have a message for them. >> reporter: there's no greater risk to your career than falling asleep on the job. for "shark tank"'s
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robert herjavec, who's amassed $100 million in his waking hours, downtime at the office is unheard of. >> you don't get to be a shark by snoozing. if you snooze, you lose. >> reporter: but for today's overworked employee, not getting enough sleep can really take a toll, even if he can't. >> hey! >> reporter: even movie stars plugging their own movies sometimes need an unexpected rest, like on this seattle morning show. >> western -- we were in the audience last night. >> good morning. >> reporter: and remarkably, live news anchors have been caught snoozing, such as this one from the bbzzz. and this radio host didn't drop the mike, he dropped onto it. even law enforcement isn't immune. this surfaced this week on our san francisco station kgo. a trucker found a park ranger sawing wood with a beverage accomplice. >> there's a state parks guy here and i can't wake the guy up.
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>> reporter: and not even being photographed could wake up this alleged burglar, who catnapped his way into custody after the homeowner's house cleaner found him clasping this sack of jewels while bagging some zs. >> 911. >> there's a man in there laying on the bed and i'm scared. please hurry so we can catch him. >> reporter: falling asleep on the job doesn't usually get you arrested. he's pled not guilty, but it can get you fired or teased on tv. >> we've bored the scoreboard operator to sleep. >> i am sorry pal. your supervisor will be calling you shortly. >> reporter: it's worse for time zone criss-crossing politicians expected to be ever alert waiting to speak or listening to a speech. maryland governor martin o'malley nodded off during a meeting with constituents. tracey eno says she had spent weeks preparing a speech opposing a natural gas export facility. >> i was really excited to be there, because i thought, finally, you know, here's the
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opportunity to get the message across. then it occurred to me, he's dozing off. i was really angry. hello, you know, wake up. here. pay attention to me now. >> reporter: at the time o'malley's spokesperson told maryland's "daily record" he was listening intently during the six-hour meeting, and he's only human. recent sleep studies would open anyone's eyes. getting enough sleep improves cognition, memory and creativity. great, but what about, you know, money? overachieving entrepreneurs like the "shark tank" crew insist that advocates for getting seven to nine hours of bed rest a night are full of sheets. >> there isn't enough hours in the day to get the stuff i need done, so i trained myself to sleep four hours a night. anybody can do it. >> you kind of work 24/7. you sleep because you need to and have to. >> i'd rather be tired than broke.
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>> reporter: in short, do your bleeping job! but for the rest of us, lack of sleep can seem like a permanent component of any job these days. >> i look around here and i think, this is the perfect workspace for the 21st century, right? how sleepy are we? >> there was an hr study that recently called it an epidemic. >> wait, i want to, just -- >> reporter: cynthia shapiro, a former human resources executive turned career coach and author, is wise in the ways of today's high-powered companies and says some of them want you sleep-deprived and work-obsessed. she cautions even if they provide a nap room for the weary, be wary. >> don't use them. >> reporter: it's a trap? >> it's a trap. in order to use it safely, it has to be a super obvious, work-related reason. everyone in the company needs to know that you just got off a red eye flight, or you had -- you were up all night doing a presentation. >> reporter: that sounds like more work than just staying up. >> i agree. >> reporter: some people fall asleep for health or medical reasons, but no matter what the
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cause, cynthia suggests if you cause, cynthia suggests if you got to doze, get out of dodge. >> tell your boss you forgot about a dentist appointment, or you have to go pick something up, run an errand. go sleep in your car. >> go sleep in your car? >> sleep in your car, set an alarm so you don't oversleep and don't let them see you sleeping. >> reporter: but what if you just can't get away? cynthia shapiro showed me a canny tongue in cheek cubicle cover-up to disguise drowsiness. remember the governor "listening intently?" let's call it "the ponder." >> you want to have some important papers in front of you, you basically put your head on your hand and make sure it's pretty secure, and then you can close your eyes. yeah, and if someone, you know, comes up and says, "chris, what are you doing?" "oh, i was pondering, i was deep in thought." >> yeah, these numbers, they gotta add up. >> yeah, exactly. >> reporter: but a handful of companies fully embrace the idea that their employees need to be refreshed.
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>> time to shut the engines down for a little bit. >> reporter: google's nap pods are a popular perk, at least in the movies. >> what would i do without these babies? >> reporter: and arianna huffington, who sold her huffington post to aol for $315 million, is a big advocate of a good night's rest. >> sleep your way to the top. >> reporter: touting the upside of downtime. >> being busy, being always on, has been seen as a badge of honor. that is changing, and you know why? because i feel so good after eight hours of sleep and i enjoy my day. >> reporter: and it turns out that even sharks need a little shut-eye. >> you don't know how to run a company. >> reporter: when mark cuban caught fellow shark kevin o'leary cat-napping, he pounced. >> yeah, i took a picture and i instagrammed it out, so yeah, kevin is definitely a napper. >> reporter: the truth comes out.
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>> when we come i read most of the book.. having a baby isn't gonna be that hard. you didn't read the book. i read some of the book. it's all about being prepared. proper nutrition... keeping the romance alive. level 7! and setting a good example. daddy's trying. we are so ready for this. life can surprise you. so can an allstate agent. from savings on a new car, to discounts on a great car seat. the good hands are doing more than ever before.
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its microlumina rotating head buffs away hard skin even on those hard-to-reach spots. it's amazing. you can see it and feel it. my new must-have for soft, beautiful feet. amopé pedi perfect. available in the foot care aisle of the following retailers: this halloween night, your children are eating your candy, or you're eating theirs. >> david, you're good-looking for a pumpkin. >> great to have you back. i'm david muir. >> and i'm elizabeth vargas. from all of us at "20/20," happy halloween and have a great night. happening right now, more stormy weather including
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lightning moving into the bay area. >> next, live doppler 7hd tracking the storm.


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